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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Dec;1814(12):1695-702. doi: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2011.08.013. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

A thermostable esterase from Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis opening up a new family of bacterial lipolytic enzymes.

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Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.


An unidentified α/β hydrolase gene lipA3 from thermostable eubacterium species Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis MB4 was cloned and heterologously expressed by Escherichia coli BL21(DE3)pLysS. The purified recombinant enzyme EstA3 turned out to be a monomeric thermostable esterase with optimal activity at 70°C and pH 9.5. The enzyme showed lipolytic activity towards a wide range of ester substrates including p-nitrophenyl esters and triacylglycerides, with the highest activity being observed for p-nitrophenyl caproate at 150 U/mg and for Triacetin at 126U/mg, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that EstA3 did not show homology to any identified bacterial lipolytic hydrolases. Sequence alignment showed that there was a common pentapeptide CHSMG with a cysteine replacing the first glycine in most esterase and lipase conserved motif GXSXG. The catalytic triad of EstA3 is Ser92, Asp269 and His292, which was confirmed by site directed mutagenesis. Based on the enzymatic properties and sequence alignment we concluded that the esterase EstA3 represented a novel bacterial lipolytic enzyme group and in chronological order this group was assigned as Family XIV.

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